According to PFF, the Indianapolis Colts have the NFL’s 7th best offensive line ahead of the team’s week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams:
7. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (DOWN 1)
Projected Week 4 starters:
LT Bernhard Raimann
LG Quenton Nelson
C Ryan Kelly
RG Will Fries
RT Braden Smith
The Colts’ offensive line is one of just four units to not have allowed a sack this season. They rank fourth in the league with a 90.8 pass-blocking efficiency rating.
Center Ryan Kelly missed Week 3 against Baltimore due to a concussion. However, the Nelson-French-Fries interior held up well in pass protection against the Ravens.
Best player: Quenton Nelson
Nelson leads all guards with an 86.4 pass-blocking grade, but his 53.4 run-blocking grade ranks just 51st at his position.
First and foremost, hats off to new Colts offensive line coach Tony Sparano Jr., whose offseason arrival and teaching has seemed to reinvigorate this once formidable unit.
At least in pass blocking, Nelson has regained his pristine form as the anchor of the Colts offensive line all together—although he admittedly has some work to do as a run blocker.
However, the team has also gotten key contributions from starting left tackle Bernhard Raimann, who has a +78.3 overall grade, good for 10th (tied) among all offensive tackles.
Meanwhile, while he missed last week’s game because of a concussion, Ryan Kelly looks like he’s had a career revival as he’s ranked as PFF’s highest graded center (+82.8 overall grade).
Both starting right tackle Braden Smith (+62.9) and right guard Will Fries (+65.5) haven’t graded out as well overall, but they’ve held their own so far—and it’s still early in the season.
Any way you look at it, this is very encouraging to say the least, especially when having a rookie quarterback start behind center, and given the rather poor play we saw last year.
The unit showed some signs late last year under former interim head coach Jeff Saturday (and with some lineup changes), but this has been an even bigger improvement regardless.